21 November 2008

creative pause

I've just finished reading an article about different ways creative people find inspiration, a chance to block everything else out and focus on a specific problem or idea. From reading the comments, it seems most people find this in the shower (which is what the post was based on). But for me, my time in the shower provides a necessary respite from daily life and the creative problem-solving that runs in the back of my mind all day. And night, for that matter. But in the shower, it's probably one of the few times I can force myself to relax, breathe in the steam, clear my head. And not have to think about anything.

Even when I'm doing other things outside of my work hours, it seems I'll always have a "program" running in the back of my mind, wheels turning to work on whatever it is I'm designing during the day, to find more and better solutions. Honestly, I don't know what other designers do, but especially when I have the clock running on a project, I want to make the most of my time by actually working on something concrete, rather than sitting and thinking... or maybe that's my problem. Sitting and thinking is such an important part of the creative process, especially at the very beginning of a project – even before the pencil and paper come out. I shouldn't discount its importance as part of the billable process.

But maybe I enjoy this multi-tasking; maybe my mind works best on the creativity part of things when it's not in the forefront with all the accompanying pressure. Hmm. Well, at any rate, that seems to be how I work best. Some of my favorite ideas have come during the night, or in that magical time right before I slip into sleep. That's when things slow down enough and the restrictions loosen up in the mind, giving way for creative freedom that's hard to justify during the day. And hey, maybe that's why I love sleep so much!

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